14 points that is the lead the New York Knicks had over the Brooklyn Nets before blowing it in the fourth quarter and allowing them to make a triumphant come-back without James Harden or Kevin Durant on the floor. The Knicks simply cannot beat playoff-bound teams, losing their last few matchups against the Nets and Philadelphia 76ers, even falling to a league-worst Minnesota Timberwolves a few days ago.
This begs the question, did the Knicks make a mistake not selling the farm for a star player at the trade deadline a few weeks ago?
Ultimately, with their inability to hit clutch shots and close out games, it is becoming apparent that the Knicks desperately need another star to pair with Julius Randle. Not only does Randle turn the ball over extraordinary amounts, but he’s also incapable of hitting those final shots to steal victory for the Knicks.
Randle is currently averaging 22.9 points per game, a career-high. However, he’s also turning the ball over 3.4 times, another career-high. Julius landed himself an All-Star appearance for the first time in his career this year, and it seems he has a bright future ahead of him adjust 26 years old. However, if New York pairs him with another premium talent, it would help him tremendously, especially taking the pressure off late in games.
Against Brooklyn, Randle seemed fatigued in the fourth quarter, even limping at times with a minor injury. Despite the fact, head coach Tom Thibodeau forced the ball to him in the final moments, where he missed the shot to tie the game, a scene all-too-familiar for Knick fans recently.
The debate for the Knicks at the deadline:
One would argue that New York made a mistake not trading for a star player at the deadline, but teams were asking for an exorbitant amount of draft capital and players in return. The other side of the equation is justifiable, as New York simply wasn’t going to be an elite playoff-contending team this year, but rather setting the foundation for the future and getting the rookies minutes in a developmental season. The team and roster as a whole took a step forward, and the fact that they are in the playoff hunt with their current squad says a lot about their progression.
In fact, I believe staying put at the deadline was the right move, as they are able to develop some of their younger pieces so they can blossom in 2022. The Knicks also have the freedom to acquire a player in free agency next off-season, that way, they can save their draft capital and find another premium pick to inject into their system. Overall, I think they are building the right way and not rushing things out of the gate, which is what some fans want them to do after years of losing.